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VIEWS FROM THE WATCH TOWER
ENGLAND FACE TO FACE WITH SOCIALISM
ONE hundred and fifty archbishops and bishops, a multitude of minor clergy, and an assemblage of laymen and laywomen outnumbered any hitherto gathered in Albert hall.
The bishop of Birmingham, who was scheduled to preside, was absent owing to illness. He sent a paper, which was read by his substitute, the bishop of Manchester, the keynote of which was the injustice of the existing division of the profits of industry. After contrasting the grinding poverty of the workers with the extravagant luxury of the idle rich, he demanded from the church “a tremendous act of penitence for having failed so long and so greatly to champion the oppressed and weak.”
RISING TIDE OF SOCIALISM
The Rev. J. G. Simpson, principal of the clergy school at Leeds, assured the vast audience that all over the north of England they were face to face with the rising tide of Socialism, which they were powerless to stem even if they wished to do so. Countless workers in the forges, furnaces, and mills of the north had adopted the Socialistic idea and held to it like a religion and loved it like a bride. He demanded that the church give free field to Socialism. He appealed to it to try to understand it and not hasten to discount it.
More significant than the speeches themselves was the keen interest shown in the Socialistic pleas and earnest enthusiasm with which such points as those given were greeted from all parts of the hall.—Chicago Daily Socialist.
“MEN’S HEARTS FAILING THEM”
“Daily it becomes more manifest that political America is separating into two camps—the Individualists and the Socialists … A new party has been created, and it is not extravagant to intimate that it will poll two million votes next November. It threatens to destroy the Democratic party (though that is a job the Democratic Party has already accomplished to all intents and purposes), and will then strive for the mastery against the Republican Party. That would fetch the new alignment of conservative vs. liberal, of Individualism vs. Socialism. That is what is coming.”—Washington Post.
THE JEWISH OUTLOOK
The recent quiet Turkish revolution, which has brought to the front the “Young Turk” party, is said to be favorable to the hopes of the Jews in respect to their securing some kind of a footing in Palestine with a subordinate self-government. The new government is credited with being quite liberal toward Jews and Christians.
Rabbi Judah Leon Mages says:
“Since Titus razed Jerusalem thousands of years ago, Israel has been a wanderer among foreign nations, an alien among strangers; at first bitterly persecuted, then barely tolerated, and latterly beginning to be respected and honored, but still an outcast, with no home toward which to turn his wandering footsteps. And yet, remarkable as is the fact, he has preserved his individuality through it all. Whether he is a professor in a German university, or a banker in France, or a statesman in England, the Jew is a Jew still, and under the veneer of environing social life lies the tearful yearning for his native land.
“When we turn our footsteps toward Zion,” continued the doctor, his eyes kindling with enthusiasm, “we shall number among the citizens of the renewed Jewish commonwealth some of the most famous men of modern times, men who are engaged in creating the world history of today. Our government will serve as a model for the whole world. And in the arts and crafts Jerusalem will be a standard. I have no small faith in Israel. What he is doing now, scattered throughout the world, he will be able to do tenfold when he is united, safe from the fear of hate or prejudice.
PURCHASING PALESTINE HOLDINGS
“This is not all purely visionary. The work is already going on rapidly in Palestine. We have acquired extensive tracts of land from the Sultan of Turkey, and we are constantly increasing our holdings. Very soon we will be in a position to ask for a release from the authority of the Sultan. England favors the project, and we are sure of the assistance of the United States. Large areas of land are already under cultivation, and we are planting an immense grove of olive trees, to be called the Theodore Herzl Memorial Grove, in memory of the revered founder of Zionism.
“Israel was originally a farmer. It was only upon his expulsion from his native land, forbidden to hold territory in any of the countries he sought to make his home, that he became a trader, and by his native wit became so apt at it that it has almost become a characteristic of the race. Now, however, in his own home, at peace with all nations, and with the latest inventions of science at his command, he will make the beautiful valley of the Jordan to ‘blossom as the rose.’ And there under the serene eastern sun, he can let his soul drift back softly into the meditations of his beloved religion and live out his days ‘a blessing and a comfort to the nations.'”
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REVULSION AGAINST HELL TORMENT TOWARD FAITHS WITHOUT FOUNDATION
The Rev. J. R. Hutton, D.D., of Glasgow, preaching in New York City, said:—
“We hear much in these days of the fascination which Roman Catholic or High Church views are having for many minds. Now, the claim that these churches really put forward is that the Church, through its sacraments and the prayers of the saints, will take the responsibility for the souls of its members and so relieve them of a certain ‘intolerable strain.’ We hear that the claim is proving the attraction. I think the significance is just this, that these systems put the accent and emphasis not on what the worshiper does for himself but on what God has done for him and is prepared to do.
“Take another movement which I think has a very close resemblance to this drift toward the Roman Catholic attitude in England. I mean the movement originating in America, but which has its agents in all cultured lands, which goes variously by the name of Christian Science, Mind Culture and the rest. It has succeeded because with a certain passion and unfairness it rejects from the entire life of the soul such words as ‘striving,’ ‘wrestling’ and ‘fighting.’ The movement has won a success just because it promises to take the strain off our minds, because it bids men to stop thinking about themselves and begin thinking out of themselves toward the infinite peace of God. All that is true in both these movements is not new, and all that is new is not true. There are signs that the human soul is tired of the ethical whip, tired of the summons to strenuousness, and is determined now to try the life of faith.”
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What man really needs is the Bible faith, the faith once delivered to the saints, but now, alas! obscured to almost all.
— October 15, 1908 —